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Var vs. Vart + Platsadverbials Posted by on Mar 28, 2011 in education, Swedish Language

Steve did a great job of explaining the difference between var vs. vart.  As Steve said, “var” is the word “where” in a static sense and “vart” is “to where.”  As you continue learning Swedish, this will become more and more natural.  But as this becomes more natural, there is a second aspect of questions to keep in mind.  Platsadverbials.  Adverbials that indicate place.

As mentioned, var is a static sense of where, while vart is a directional to where.  This distinction carries over when using platsadverbials.  Below is a list to get you started:

Var Vart Engelska
Inne In In
Ute Ut Out
Här Hit Here
Där Dit There
Uppe Upp Up
Nere Ner Down
Hemma Hem Home
Borta Bort Away

And finally, a few sentences to demonstrate the difference:

Vart går du efter lunch? (Where do you go to after lunch?)
-Jag går hem. (I go home.)

Var äter du på kvällen? (Where do you eat in the evenings?)
-Jag äter hemma. (I eat at home.)

Var är min bok? (Where is my book?)
-Den ligger här på bordet.  (It is lying here on the table.)

Vart ska de åka nu? (To where are they traveling now?)
-De ska komma hit! (They are coming [to] here!)

The sentences above give a simple demonstration of the differences in uses between var and vart. You’ll notice that in each case, the var or vart corresponds with the platsadverbial.  This agreement is key to mastering the use of var and vart and the corresponding platsadverbials.

Good luck!

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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.


  1. Christina Pearce:

    Tack Marcus!
    Really useful – especially to get the difference between the use of “hem” versus “hemma” 😉
    Ha det bra! Christina

  2. Kenia:

    It sounds so easy when you guys explain the differences. If only you could keep them in mind when you try to speak and make sentences yourself!

  3. Kenia:

    I’m not a native english speaker so I don’t know if the above sounds a little strange, for the record I don’t mean YOU Marcus, I mean people in general =)

  4. Marcus Cederström:

    Glad this was useful

  5. Simonas:

    Tack så mycket! 🙂

  6. karla:

    Tack så mycket!! Jag förstår nu 🙂

  7. Marcus Cederström:

    Vad bra!